Feature Articles

15 shows you should watch on the local edition of Netflix

By Koh Wanzi - 28 Feb 2016

Action & Adventure

Note: This article was first published on 9th February 2016.

Limited Netflix catalog? Fret not, there's still plenty to binge-watch

Netflix US

Netflix launched in 130 new countries in early January to much fanfare, officially becoming a global Internet TV service. Finally, the rest of us could get behind those “Netflix and chill” memes and lose ourselves – and our weekends – in the sheer decadence of binge-watching TV series. This writer actually spent two entire days with a bag of chips and Season 1 of CW’s Jane the Virgin (sorry, not sorry).

But now that the hype has simmered down somewhat, doubts are swirling about just how worthwhile it is to sign up for a Netflix subscription in Singapore. That’s because Netflix’s catalog actually varies according to your country. Wonder why you can’t watch House of Cards in Singapore? Thank the fragmented content licensing deals that currently govern the distribution of TV series and movies around the globe.

Here are the facts. According to the Unofficial Netflix Online Global Search (uNoGS), an online searchable database of the videos available in all 244 regions where Netflix has launched, there are just 673 movies and series in Singapore’s catalog. In comparison, the US total sits at 5,680, which means that local customers have access to just under 12% of what they would get if they were in the US.

At first glance, that may not seem very encouraging (okay, it’s not). But numbers only show one side of the story. At the risk of sounding trite, we’d like to break out an oft-cited maxim – quality over quantity. It’s no loss that you can watch Asteroid vs Earth in the US but not here. Singapore’s Netflix catalog may not impress in terms of sheer variety, but there are plenty of hidden gems that will provide you with hours of seat-gripping – or hilarious, depending on your preferences – television.

Are you a hardcore science-fiction fan? Or do you like yourself a good romantic comedy? Either way, we’ve got you covered with a list of best picks from each genre over the next few pages:-

We’ll be restricting ourselves to just TV series though, because, well, you can’t really binge-watch movies.

Meanwhile, if you haven't yet signed up for a Netflix account, you would want to check out our Netflix 101 article.


Action & Adventure


If you want an action-packed series that will hardly let you catch a breather, look no farther than Arrow. The show is just kickass action and an endless parade of villains through and through. Of course, there’s Oliver Queen himself, the show’s eponymous hero who starts off with a dogged determination to stop crime in Starling City by snuffing out the bad guys. The guy is so earnest in what he does that you can’t help but root for him right off the bat.

Arrow is intelligently written and solidly acted. Even if it plays out several familiar superhero tropes and conventions, it manages to do so without seeming like an old, broken record. Oliver’s gruff voice while in costume may tickle a few funny bones because of how pretentious it all seems, but that’s exactly the beauty of the show – it’s a superhero flick that is still exceedingly enjoyable even in this overdone genre.


Marvel’s Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones was released on Netflix to rave reviews, the example of a female superhero done right, in the words of various pundits. But we’ll simplify things for you – basically if you liked Daredevil, you’ll like Jessica Jones. Done up in the same gritty, hard-boiled fashion, Jessica Jones tells the story of a superhero that is only too human, having to grapple daily with past traumas and the struggle of doing right by those she cares for. In a sense, it’s a superhero show without all the gratuitous spandex, posturing and bicep flexing.

But for those of you who don’t watch superhero flicks for the character drama and are in it purely for the action, there’s plenty of that as well, and plenty of collateral damage along the way. David Tennant’s portrayal of the Purple Man is quite a sight to behold as well – half-crazed and megalomaniacal, he even manages to be vaguely sympathetic, right until the very moment he forces his own father to stick his hand in the juice blender.

There is nothing predictable about the series and it manages to keep you guessing throughout. In the final showdown between Jessica and the Purple Man, you’re never quite sure until the last moment who will be the last one standing.



Remember the headlines around the recapture of El Chapo, the Mexican drug lord who escaped a maximum security prison through a tunnel dug by his associates in his shower floor? Narcos follows the story of another notorious drug kingpin, Pablo Escobar, who at the height of his fortunes had an estimated known net worth of around US$30 billion.

Escobar’s notorious career is an immense tale that literally saw him hold the Colombian government in his grasp. A movie could hardly encapsulate the breadth and scope of all the events, which is why we’re thankful for Netflix’s 10-episode first season.

Told through the eyes of DEA agent Steve Murphy, Narcos is a riveting chronicle of Escobar’s exploits, and also provides an intriguing peek into the political and economic circumstances in 1980s Latin America.

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